Hull has always had a relationship with water be it as one of the UK’s largest ports or how it grew from the fishing industry and the farming of high quality agricultural land from drained marshes.
Like many Cities, Hull has struggled with the changing industries and as a result has suffered deprivation. Yet its resilience to bounce back has recently seen it having one of the largest growing economies in Yorkshire and it being awarded the UK’s City of Culture. It’s a place where new industry, particularly, the energy sector has recognized its wonderful position nationally.
Nonetheless, at a local level, Hull is having to face into a global problem and the Living with Water project is playing a major role in helping it to do just that. The Institute of Public Research recently released a report saying that since 1950, the number of floods across the world has increased 15 times, whilst extreme temperature events have gone up by 20 times. Climate change predictions show that by 2100, sea levels can rise by up to a meter.
Whilst significant investment and progress has been delivered since the 2007 floods where tens of thousands of people were flooded, the city still remains the second biggest flood risk in the United Kingdom outside of the Thames estuary area. Against a backdrop of changing weather, the need for new homes and one of the lowest sign-ups to flood warnings in one of the country’s highest risk areas, there is still much to do.
In Autumn 2017, the founders of the Living with Water Partnership: Hull City Council, Yorkshire Water, the Environment Agency and East Riding of Yorkshire Council met with local organizations, business and charities to develop a future vision for Hull and Haltemprice, as thriving communities Living with Water, which would support a step change in progress towards their mission:
…to create a thriving community in Hull and Haltemprice through working together on flood risk management to become an international exemplar for living in harmony with water.
The partnership’s contribution will facilitate Hull becoming a sustainable city, protected from climate change with a thriving 21st century economy predicated on the relationship with water in the city and surrounding areas.